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Combilift’s bespoke solution for wind turbine blades

14 June 2024

AS THE green energy sector pushes the boundaries of height and size for components such as wind turbine towers and blades, there is an ever-growing need for methods which ensure the safe, stable and efficient handling of these extremely challenging and valuable finished products.

The Combi-LC Blade is a new, no-compromise concept for lifting and transporting wind turbine blades from the manufacturing plant to storage facilities before they are dispatched to their intended destinations. It was designed in collaboration with Siemens Gamesa, one of the world’s largest offshore wind suppliers. These very extreme and non-uniform loads can be 115m long and weigh around 70t. Previously used methods had been considered to be a compromise as there was no product on the market that was 100% fit for purpose.  

The Combi-LC Blade’s design is based on two fully customisable remote-control units with low-level chassis beds that can work in tandem master and slave operation, with varying dimensions and wheel configurations according to load type and weight. Each unit incorporates features to cater for the specific requirements of each end of the turbine blade. The “root side” unit boasts a unique attachment which securely grips the substantial cylindrical end of the blade, and the “tip side” carrier unit smoothly manoeuvres beneath the blade, supporting its narrower tip via a hydraulic tilting table-mounted clamp. 

Combilift CEO and co-founder Martin McVicar: “This project has been a great success for all involved and is an example of what can be achieved when market leaders in their respective fields share their expertise. Siemens Gamesa is already using a number of these bespoke units, with more set to be delivered, and is reaping the benefits of enhanced efficiency and site safety. Combilift is in active discussions with other offshore wind companies with similar demands, and expects to generate over €50m in revenue per year in this market segment by 2026.”

For more information, visit https://combilift.com/combi-lc/